Op eds

This op-ed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) first appeared in USA Today on Jan. 3, 2019.   

Too often overlooked in the push to rewrite our gun laws is the irony of expecting evil to be chastened by an erosion of law-abiding citizens’ rights.

Florida increased the minimum age for buying a gun after the horrific shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The accused shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had a history of hurting small animals, threatening people, swearing at teachers and posting school shooting plans on social media.

Does anyone really think that immaturity is to blame for his actions? That making him wait another two years to buy a weapon would have resulted in an entirely different outcome? That, given just a little more time, he would have realized it’s wrong to kill people?

Cruz’s behavior over the years raised more red flags than the Chinese Embassy. Nothing was done. That’s not the fault of the Second Amendment, or those who believe in it.

The solution to the problem of mass murders isn’t to trample on the Second Amendment by restricting law-abiding citizens’ access to guns. That would be like repealing the First Amendment because a few unscrupulous journalists make up stories.

We don’t need stricter gun laws. We need to more strictly enforce the laws that exist. And, we need authorities to actually do something when red flags are raised.

We certainly don’t need Wall Street rewriting the Second Amendment. Yet that’s exactly what two of the nation’s largest banks are trying to do.

Citigroup and Bank of America are threatening to withhold their banking services unless small businesses agree to limit their gun sales. Wall Street is threatening the livelihoods of law-abiding citizens who sacrificed billions of dollars to bail out those banks during the financial crisis.

To me, that’s offensive, and it’s why I introduced legislation to ensure that those banks aren’t rewarded with government contracts if they’re going to come after law-abiding citizens’ guns. We don’t need red and blue banks. We need to use our common sense.